Apr 1, 2000
Status of U.S. Networks at the Turn of the Century
This talk will describe the main backbone networks in
use in the U.S. by HENP as we move into the new millenium.
These include the major U.S. National Research and Education
Networks (NRENs): Internet 2 fostered networks vBNS and
Abilene, the federal backbones (ESnet, NREN etc.); and the commercial
The organization, audience, deployment and peering of the NRENs will
be described, together with some of the testbeds that are using them. I
will then briefly cover the importance to HENP of the commercial Internet and mention how their
backbones are keeping up with demand. A snapshot of the traffic at a commercial Internet exchange
will be used to give some idea of the usage of the commercial Internet.
A comparison of the relative performance of the networks measured
using the PingER tools will be shown to indicate that, within a U.S.
NREN, performance is several times better than on the commercial
Internet. I will also use PingER measurements to show how well the links
are performing between the U.S. and Europe and N. America and the rest of
the world. Finally the meaurements will be used to show how the
expected TCP throughput performance has improved by more than an order
of magnitude in many cases over the last 5 years.